2 Questions I Hate Being Asked as a Work-from-home MotherDevan McGuinness
Over the past year, our household has done a lot of transitioning and renegotiating behind the scenes.
Before my husband and I got married and had children, we talked a lot about those big questions like how many kids do we want and the basics of how we wish to raise them. One of our key conclusions was that we wanted one of us (me) to be home with the kids until they are in full-time school. We worked hard to be able to make that happen and it’s what we have been doing for about 5 years.
Last year that dynamic slowly started to change. In September I began very part-time work from home — it was something I wanted to do for me, not so much a financial need, but I was looking for something. Over this past year I have made the move from that very part time work to now a near full-time schedule, still working from home. It has been amazing for myself, it has been amazing for the stress of the household now that we’re not living on one income and I do think it’s been good for my children as well.
I wonder if the idea of working from home as a mother is a new-ish concept though, because I have gotten some of the strangest questions from people regarding home and work balance. Questions my husband, who has been working full time since college and through having our 3 children, has never been asked once. He’s never been questioned on how his work changes his parenting.
There are two questions that I have been asked more than once in regards to my work life and how that balances with my kids & these questions really should not be asked … ever:
1) How do you do it all?
This question bothers me particularly because it’s never been asked to my husband and yet I get asked it all the time. We make it work and it means sacrificing and rearranging things, but I love what I do — it makes me happy so it’s all worth it. I work late nights, early mornings and get little sleep each night. I triage things — our laundry needs a miracle. I work weekends when my husband is home, I work in small intervals throughout the whole day. There is nothing super-human about being able to balance work and home; it honestly just comes down to practice. I have a lot of experience in managing many things at one time, at interpreting different streams of information at the same time and it’s only because I have a lot of practice in managing and thriving in chaos.
2) Are you engaging with your kids?
Insulting, and someone has actually asked me this to my face. It’s like asking if I am putting my job before my kids and well, that’s just not cool to ask. Balance with work and kids especially during the summer has meant a lot of really late nights and super early mornings for me. I am still taking my kids to the park to run outside, we still learn to cook together, read books, play with Legos. I work during snack times and their designated quiet time. I work with my kids sitting on my lap, cuddled into my arm and they have each other, too.
I do think that the concept of working from home is still relatively new to people. Though my kids are not all yet in full-time school, I have no babysitter and no daycare or camp they go to, there are still sacrifices we go through in order to make this work for us … and it does work for us.
:: What is the one question you hate being asked when it comes to your kids and work balance? ::
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